Health & Care

What Is Phlegm?

I am sure we have all experienced a cold that has made us feel terrible. There are many symptoms of a cold that can make us feel bad but often it is the presence of phlegm that makes us feel worse. When you have a cold phlegm builds up in our chest, throat and nose which makes us feel ‘bunged’ up and generally terrible.

Technically speaking phlegm is the liquid substance that is expelled from your mucous membranes. It is made up of water, immunoglobulins, lipids and glycoproteins. Without going into too much detail, the colour of your phlegm can give an indication of how bad your condition is. A normal and healthy colour is almost transparent looking but it can go through yellow, green, brown and then grey depending on how severe your illness is. If you have a cold then the build up of this can be quite severe, but should clear once you have gotten over the illness.

Phlegm itself isn’t an illness but you should consult your doctor if you have it and it will not shift, so it could be an indication of another underlying illness. There are several medications available which can get rid of phlegm for you.

It isn’t just illness that can cause a build up of phlegm. Smokers often have more phlegm than others which can be a pain. Of course this can be avoided with a change in lifestyle. The reason for this extra build up of phlegm is that smoke dries out our vocal chords – which lead to irritation and then the build up of phlegm.

None of us want to be ill, so it is important that we nip illnesses in the bud when we can. Often things like coughs and colds cannot really be avoided, but we can take steps to make sure we get over them quickly. Taking honey and lemon can really help. There are also a number of over the counter solutions that can help you when it comes to battling colds and the flu. Rather than suffering with this you should look at the solutions to beat the illness as quickly as possible.

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